Final results of the GAPS diet
- Goodbye joint pain - I started the GAPS diet primarily to address joint pain problems. My left shoulder was hurting for nearly a year, making it hard to pick up the baby or even push the kids on the swings. The GAPS diet has totally cured my joint pain, and I am so happy to be able to go about my life without chronic pain.
- Improved immune system - My daughter's immune system has improved dramatically while on GAPS. Previously, she would catch every cold and flu and would be miserably sick with a high fever for 3-4 days even with a cold. Now, she gets sick less often and, when she does get sick, her symptoms are much less severe.
- Better sleep - My daughter was 3 and 1/2 years old when we started the GAPS diet. For several months prior, she was phasing out her regular afternoon nap, and would only nap perhaps one or two days a week. After just a few weeks on GAPS, I noticed that she seemed to be napping much more regularly. This pattern has persisted, as even now she rarely misses an afternoon nap (and she is almost 5 years old). Additionally, before GAPS my daughter used to wake up whimpering or crying most nights, and sometimes several times a night. She started sleeping much more soundly once we started GAPS, and she rarely makes a peep at night.
- Less canker sores - The frequency of my canker sores has greatly diminished during the GAPS diet. Additionally, the sores I do get are not as severe as they once were.
- My sweating problem - Early on in my adult life, I noticed that I sweat way more than most people. I was never overly concerned about my sweating while I was still using the typical antiperspirants, but once I started using "natural" alternatives I basically had to give up wearing cotton shirts as I was embarrassed to have large sweat rings under my arms. It never occurred to me that my sweating problem was something that could be cured; I figured it was just part of me. But I have been absolutely amazed to see that the GAPS diet has remedied the problem!
- Clearer skin - Although I've never had much of a problem with acne, I've noticed that on the GAPS diet, I seem to have absolutely NO pimples on my face whatsoever.
- Improved growth - My daughter has always been very small for her age, beginning with a placenta problem I had while pregnant with her. Her weight and height gains have greatly improved while on GAPS.
- Poor energy - My biggest stumbling block on the GAPS diet has been maintaining good energy levels. I felt absolutely wonderful the first few months, but then started having spells of extreme lethargy and fatigue. This seems to be related to how many carbs I consume, and I've had to try very hard to make sure to eat more carbs while on GAPS.
- Return of adrenal fatigue - I had adrenal fatigue when I started GAPS and was happy to note that it improved greatly in the first few months. However, in the last few months my adrenal fatigue symptoms have made a comeback. I think this is also related to consuming too few carbs.
- Heartburn - I have struggled with heartburn for years. I had hoped that GAPS would resolve this, but I am still having heartburn fairly frequently. It does seem to be getting better over time, at least. Fermented foods and apple cider vinegar definitely help, although they are a temporary solution rather than a real cure. I plan to try bitters once I stop nursing my youngest.
- Probiotic woes - During our time on GAPS, I learned that taking probiotic capsules causes chronic constipation for both my daughter and myself, no matter how slowly we increase the dosage. (This has not been the case for my husband.) It works better for me and my daughter to consume more fermented foods rather than taking probiotic caps.
The GAPS diet is very restrictive, and especially challenging in social situations. But, being on the GAPS diet gave me the opportunity to expand my cooking repertoire to include delicious, grain-free foods and has been a great way to learn how to incorporate more vegetables into our diets. It has also been a great experience for learning to listen to my body and pay more attention to the cues and signals it gives me. Overall, the GAPS diet has been well worth the time and effort!
Have you tried a healing diet such as GAPS? What were the results?
February 2012 UPDATE: we are about 95% back on GAPS for now after seeing a negative impact on my daughter's behavior and a recurrence of some minor joint pain for me.
This post is part of Frugal Days, Sustainable Ways, Fat Tuesday and Monday Mania!